National Association For The Advancement of Colored People
P.O. Box 540315 - Opa Locka, Florida 33054
Dr. Shirley B Johnson President
July 22, 2016
Statement on the Police Shooting of Charles Kinsey
The Miami Dade NAACP is outraged once again over a needless shooting by police
of an African American man, Mr. Charles Kinsey, who was not armed and in this
case following text-book instructions on how to behave when confronted by
police, and it did not matter! As Renee Graham wrote in the Boston Globe, “We
can now add “taking care of an autistic man while Black” to the ballooning list
of mundane things African American do that may be met with lethal force.”
On July 21, Ruban Roberts, Chair of the Miami Dade NAACP’s Committee on Criminal
Justice convened an emergency committee meeting to re-double its efforts to
achieve a fair justice system. Senior people from the US Department of Justice,
the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office for
Miami Dade briefed the attendees. Mr. Robert’s said that the attendees were
angered and wanted answers and they were frustrated but committed to seeking
President Shirley Johnson just returning from the National NAACP Convention said
these issues were at the top of the National NAACP Agenda and thus the Miami
efforts will get the support it needs to move on this issue.
The video is self-explanatory. The newspaper reports that several officers
responded to a report that a man with a gun was threatening
suicide. Experienced officers know that eye witness accounts citing the
presence of a weapon are often inaccurate (as the NAACP has found from reading
police reports). Thus such reports should be read as “might” have a gun and thus
require caution but not shooting without verification. In this case Mr. Kinsey
with his hands in the air was reported as calling out that all the man he was
helping had was a toy truck! The reports say that several officers responded
yet only one felt the need to fire his weapon. Incredulously the Union
spokesperson is reported to have said that the officer was trying to save Mr.
Kinsey by firing at the autistic man with a toy truck when he missed and hit Mr.
Kinsey. If this is true why was Mr. Kinsey reported to have been placed in
handcuffs and had to wait 20 minutes on the ground before medics arrived?
The NAACP’s efforts along with partners such as the ACLU, PULSE, and the Haitian
Grass Roots Coalition for effective civilian oversight is now focusing on having
Miami Dade re-institute the Independent Review Panel which was defunded several
years ago. That body was also available to be used by municipalities with
additional involvement of the city in which a complaint was occurred. We urge
the County Commission to move rapidly to re-instate the IRP and for North Miami
and other smaller cities to utilize it. We urge the City of Miami to continue to
strengthen its Citizens Investigative Panel and to cooperate fully with the
Federal Monitor on the use of deadly force.
We call on all departments to implement both body and gun cameras.
We call for increased training including de-escalation and implicit bias as well
as dealing with individuals with developmental disabilities and the mentally
We call on all agencies to strengthen their pre-hiring screening to eliminate
those unfit to be a sound police officers such as the former and one present
Miami Dade School Police Officers who made racist posts on Facebook.
We call on the Department of Justice to routinely investigate such shooting
cases as Mr. Kinsey’s and the police departments where they occur.
Finally, we call on the State Attorney’s office to expand its efforts in cases
of police shootings so it won’t be another quarter of a century before a police
officer is charged.